The title of this post will make more sense and hopefully will be not as offensive once I tell this first story.
One morning while I was in Italy, I got reprimanded in front of my team for saying the word “sucks.” Most of our Texas team, the Italian pastor and his wife, and our two Floridian high school friends were waiting in the hotel lobby for the rest of our team to join us for the day. When we assessed who was missing, we discovered it was the three married people on our team, Jordan & Cherise and Stacy. Out of jest upon this realization, I commented sarcastically, “Man, married people suck!” The pastor of the Italian church quickly frowned at me and told me, “Marriage is a beautiful thing, and I wouldn’t use that word if I were you. No really. I don’t like it at all.” Cue awkward silence from everyone. My friend Lindsey tried to defend me: “Oh, well, Lindsay was obviously joking, and I think it’s kind of a cultural difference. People in the States say that word all the time.” Our pastor still assured me that it was offensive, and thus the a new team joke was formed as everyone ribbed one another for using “sucks” the rest of the trip.
(Note, I’m not saying it was okay to say, “Married people suck.” In reality, God calls us to lift people up, not tear them down, even if it’s only in jest. So I’m cool with being rebuked. I understand.)
I really don’t know how to make a smooth transition here. I kind of feel like that Stuff Christians Like post about Fake Sermon Illustrations. But I assure you that story was real! Ask anyone on my team.
Okay, I’m just going to move on to my next point, and hopefully this will all make sense in the end.
This summer I have spent an inordinate amount of time with young married people: Jordan & Cherise on the Italy trip and for a day afterwards trying to recuperate and deal with my bed bug situation. I now go to a small group with several young married couples after being involved in a church of mostly single college students with little interaction with married staff members. I work in an office in Oregon with majority married people as opposed to my A&M office of two married women and five single people. My awesome coworker Beth and her husband Adam took me in Tuesday night and fed/entertained me before taking me to the airport on Wednesday. I swear I see engagement/wedding rings on every woman I’ve met in Salem. So many married people.
It’s honestly been fun. I’ve loved watching these relationship and the interactions between husband and wife. I’ve enjoyed getting “the married perspective” in small group discussions. It’s been nice to get a glimpse into what I hope someday to be my future. Everyone has been so kind and hospitable, taking me into their homes, feeding me, praying for me, making me drink Airborne so I don’t get sick… I’ve really enjoyed the friendships I’ve built with these couples.
And I know my relationships with married people are only going to increase as I enter my mid-20s. (Am I in my mid-20s yet? Is 23 a mid-20?) With two engaged roommates and two roommates enrolling in our “pre-engagement class” with their boyfriends at church in CStat, I see many weddings in my future. My Facebook news feed brings me word on new engaged or married friends each week. And while there are sometimes when it freaks me out that I’m at the age where we’re old enough to be married, or I feel alone because I’m the only single gal in the house (side note: I say “gal” now. I blame Oregon.), for the most part, I’m learning to like this new phase. I almost cried a few weeks ago when I couldn’t go wedding dress shopping with my engaged roomie. I want to participate in this part of her life! I’m entering a new phase of life where people get married, have babies that look like them, and buy houses. I would quote Meredith Grey and say, “We’re adults. When did that happen, and how do we make it stop?” but I think for now I’m excited about this new stage of life for me and my friends.
Even if “adult” for me at this point is defined as, “Next year when I’m out of grad school and have a real full-time job (fingers crossed), I can afford to have less than three roommates and maybe a couch that we didn’t rescue from the dumpster. I can upgrade to a Craigslist couch, what what! And maybe I’ll buy a cat. And I can paint and decorate and not feel like I have to move every nine months! Whoop!”
Anyway. Married people don’t suck. The end.